Still finding your feet in Xela? Our grocery shopping guide will make sure you can feed yourself with a diet that is slightly more varied and healthy than pupusas, tacos and garnachas from Parque Central. Thanks to David and Mark from Sublime Café for their help putting this list together.
Meats and Cold Cuts – supermarkets are generally well stocked (although we recommend avoiding the St. Lucia brand), but a particularly good option is the Ragusa chain which specialises in cold cuts (favourites are their Serrano Ham, Virginia Country ham, Milano Salami & Pepperoni). They have a store at 14 Avenida, 3-55, Zona 1and also one in Mont Blanc Mall (where the Paiz supermarket can be found).
Dairy & Cheeses – by far the best choice is Xelac, where you can find all manner of dairy products and cheeses, including some very tasty Swiss cheeses which the cooperative was taught how to make by a Swiss international aid organization. Xelac is much cheaper than the supermarkets as well. Their locations are 10 Avenida 6-73 Zona 1 (off Parque Centrál ), 14 Avenida 3-23 Zona 3, & 8 Calle 16-29 Zona 1 (opposite Mercado Flores).
Fruit & Veg – go for one of the four markets in Xela: the one in Parque Central (the smallest), Mercado La Democracia, Mercado Las Flores or Mercado El Terminal. See XelaWho Map for locations.
Baked Goods – San Martín is the only place you can find real French bread and ciabattas in Xela. It can be found in La Padrera mall (where Wal-Mart is) and on 3 Ave. 4-14, Zona 3 (near Paíz). Another option is Artesano, which has excellent bagels, whole-wheat bread and pita bread. They are located on 22 Avenida, 5-48, Zona 3 & 7 Calle, 15-18, Zona 1. Mandarina is also an excellent option if you fancy something sweet (see ad p16). Finally there´s also the famous Xelapán, which you can´t miss as it´s everywhere. However, we find the quality is the same as any of the small neighbourhood bakeries that you can find dotted around the city (although Xelapán does usually have more variety).
Spices – Paíz has a limited variety, but your best option in terms of price and variety is Superb, located in the Centro Comerical Paseo las Americas.
Beer, Wine and Liquor – The best price, and for the most part selection, is Boutique de Licores. 3 locations: 8th Calle, D12-13, Zona 1 (flagship store, across from Mercado de las Flores), 4th Calle, 21-14, Zona 1 & 8th Calle, 18-04, Zona 3.
Asian items – El Mundo Aborrotes Orientales has a selection of Asian food (Calle A 19-47 Zona 3). La Torre, Paíz and Walmart also offer a limited selection.
Nuts & Seeds – your best bet is to go for the wholesalers in Mercado El Terminal. Take the bus and get off at El Terminal, turn right into the covered area of the market, keep walking straight and you will find them.
Fair Trade & Organic – your three main options here are Al Natur (see ad p4), La Red Kuchubal (6a Calle, 15-22, Zona 1) and Uwachulew (14 Av “A”, 3-32, Zona 1). On the second Sunday of every month, there is also Domingos Organicos in Parque Central where you can find fresh, organic fruit and veg and other fair trade goods